Designer gets personal for long-lasting decor

  • The right mix of tile, stone and wood detailing makes for a lovely and functional kitchen.

    The right mix of tile, stone and wood detailing makes for a lovely and functional kitchen. Courtesy of Acanthus Design of Barrington

  • Deb Watson of Acanthus Design of Barrington works with her clients to design around their tastes and selected prized items. Here, fine art and furniture are complement with faux finished walls and unique accessories.

    Deb Watson of Acanthus Design of Barrington works with her clients to design around their tastes and selected prized items. Here, fine art and furniture are complement with faux finished walls and unique accessories. Courtesy of Acanthus Design of Barrington

 
By Jean Murphy
Daily Herald Correspondent
Posted10/19/2019 6:30 AM

Homeowners today, particularly younger ones, often fall into the trap of replicating what they see on television when decorating their own homes, according to Deb Watson, owner of Acanthus Design of Barrington.

"They want to use nothing but gray and follow cookie cutter designs instead of following their own instincts and preferences," Watson explained. "I like to work with clients as individuals and make their home reflect their own personal tastes."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"While doing this, I work toward timeless interpretations for all interior spaces, using an eclectic mix of classic design elements and some modern trends, for homeowners in Barrington and the surrounding areas," she continued.

The majority of Watson's clients, she said, are baby boomers or professionals who immigrated to the U.S. The latter tend to bring with them from home only a handful of important accessories and selected prized pieces of furniture and then, once here, "seek to express themselves and their cultures while also tying in to an American way of life."

Once she begins working with a client, Watson has a number of "rules of thumb" she imparts. For instance, she advises clients to stay away from heavy drapes and window treatments and instead choose wood shutters or simple fabric shades.

And when it comes to kitchens, she steers homeowners away from the gray or white cabinets they see on their favorite television show and instead, urges them to choose wood tones for cabinets and to use stronger colors around them, depending on their personal color preferences.

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"Even in other parts of the country, homeowners aren't gravitating toward all of the gray and white. That mainly seems to be happening in the Midwest. Elsewhere, people often tie their interior colors into the exterior landscape, using warmer shades," Watson said.

"Every client is an individual. They are special and so is their home, whether they are downsizing to a townhouse or transitioning to a larger, generally medium-priced, home," she continued. "I work with each client's unique preferences."

Watson is an independent designer who works with a variety of contractors on decorating additions, new construction homes and kitchen and bath remodels.

She holds a degree in interior design from North Dakota State University and has been working in the interior design world since 1985. Prior to opening her design business, Watson worked for Plunkett Furniture for 10 years.

Incidentally, "Acanthus" is a leaf that ancient Greeks and Romans often incorporated into their architecture and designs.

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